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Allianz FL D1: Mayo earn important win

Aidan O Shea netted a goal for Mayo against Kildare.

Aidan O Shea netted a goal for Mayo against Kildare.

Allianz Football League Division One

MAY0 1-19 KILDARE 1-12

By Colm Gannon at St Conleth's Park, Newbridge

Mayo picked up their second win in the Allianz League with a seven point victory over Kildare in Newbridge on Sunday.

Stephen Rochford’s men did their chances of survival no harm at all, while for Cian O’Neill’s Kildare that was their fifth defeat in a row and leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table.

The 1-1 that Mayo plundered in injury time of the opening period was critical in the game as it turned a one point lead into a five point lead at the short whistle in a matter of a just over a minute and gave them a great foundation to attack the second half.

They stretched that lead out to seven points inside the opening two minutes of the second period, with Adam Gallagher and Andy Moran hitting rapid fire points.

And if they had taken one of the goal chances that the created over the final 35 minutes it could have been a much bigger winning margin.

The seven point gap remained more or less intact for the whole second half, with both sides having little bursts of kicking two or three points in a row before the other hit back with their own salvo.

Kildare’s Kevin Feely ended up with a personal tally of five points in a fine display by the Athy clubman, while Mayo had seven players who scored two points or more in the game, with  nine players in total all getting on the scoresheet.

A 1-1 injury time burst sent Mayo in leading by five at the break on a score of 1-9 to 1-4.

Aidan O’Shea flicked home the Mayo goal after some great close quarters passing between Lee Keegan and Andy Moran. That was followed by Diarmuid O’Connor’s second point of the day to put full stop on the action for the half.

The visitors had started the game strongly and led by 0-3 to 0-0 after nine minutes thanks to scores from Cillian O’Connor, Andy Moran and a long range Rob Hennelly free.

Kildare had a lot of the ball in the early exchanges but kicked three poor wides early on and finished up putting eight efforts wide of the posts in the opening 35 minutes.

They opened their account 11 minutes in though a Kevin Feely free and that was followed up quickly by a Kevin Flynn effort from play to cut the gap back to just one.

Kildare did have a chance to rattle the Mayo net 13 minutes in when Daniel Flynn found Niall Kelly inside the cover, but his shot was well saved by Hennelly.

Cillian O’Connor edged Mayo back in front with his second pointed free of the day 14 minutes in and Diarmuid O’Connor kicked his sides fifth of the day just afterwards.

A pointed free from Feely and an good score from play off the boot of Paddy Brophy had the contest back to a one point game 20 minutes in.

One minute later Kildare rattled the back of Mayo’s net, when he picked up the ball in the left corner of the field and ghosted across the Mayo full back line without getting a hand laid on him, before he fired it low to the bottom of the net.

Mayo missed three chances to cut the gap not long after, with both Lee Keegan and Andy Moran dropping efforts short.

Cillian O’Connor then missed a easy free. The Ballintubber attacker made up for it on 26 minutes when he drilled one over the bar from well past the 45  from play.

Adam Gallagher got in on the act with a well finished point after Kevin McLoughlin showed some soft hands to set him free. That looked to have Mayo going in leading by a point at the break, but there was still much more in their tank before the whistle went.

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 0-4 (3fs), Andy Moran 0-3, Diarmuid O'Connor, Adam Gallagher, Conor Loftus (1f), and Rob Hennelly (2fs) 0-2 each, Eoin O'Donoghue, Kevin McLoughlin, and Jason Doherty 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kildare: Kevin Feely 0-5 (4fs), Daniel Flynn 1-0, Kevin Flynn 0-2, Paddy Brophy, Fergal Conway, Niall Kelly, Ben McCormack, and Fionn Dowling 0-1 each.

MAYO: Rob Hennelly; Caolan Crowe, Ger Cafferkey, Eoin O’Donoghue; Colm Boyle, Lee Keegan, Stephen Coen; Tom Parsons, Aidan O'Shea; Diarmuid O'Connor, Adam Gallagher, Kevin McLoughlin; Andy Moran, Cillian O'Connor, Jason Doherty. 

Subs: Seamus O’Shea for Parsons, Conor Loftus for Gallagher, Fergal Boland for Doherty, David Drake for D O’Connor, Barry Moran for C O’Connor, Shane Nally for Boyle.

KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Peter Kelly, David Hyland, Mick O’Grady; Cian O’Donoghue, Eoin Doyle, K Flynn; Kevin Feely, Tommy Moolick; Fergal Conway, Niall Kelly, Keith Cribbin; David Slattery, Daniel Flynn, Paddy Brophy.

Subs: Ben McCormack for Slattery, Johnny Byrne for Cribbin Paul Cribbin for Brophy, Fionn Dowling for Moolick, Chris Healy for Conway, Jimmy Hyland for Flynn.

REFEREE: Martin McNally (Monaghan).